- How To Tailgate - 101
- Whither you're going to a football or baseball game, a NASCAR
race, or some other event that beckons you to tailgate, there
are a few things that can make your day a lot easier and enjoyable.
- We're BIG NASCAR fans and our tailgating doesn't start a
few hours before the race; it starts nearly 12 hours earlier.
Yes that's right, we have season tickets to Richmond's Spring
and Fall night races. We've learned a few things about tailgating
in the heat, the cold, the rain and the sun shine. If you're
prepared, you can be ready for anything you might face at your
- Gather Together:
- · The one thing you'll
need more than anything, is a check
- We've posted our list to give you an idea of
what to take.
- Step 1:
- Plan! Start your check list at least 1 week earlier than
you need it. Think about what you'll need and add it to your
list. Trust me, if you think about it early; you'll be prepared
when you get there. And don't think you won't need it once you've
set up your space. If you've thought about it, you're going to
want it once you've relaxed or started cooking.
- Step 2:
- Make any food preparations at home the day before you leave.
Once you're out in the parking lot you're not going to have everything
you need or want. Nor are you going to have an easy way to wash
your hands or your utensils. Of course keep everything in your
fridge! Don't pack your cooler with perishables the day or night
before. You'd be amazed at how easy it is to create food poisoning
by doing this. Your cooler should be on of the last things you
- Step 3:
- Pack your vehicle backwards. Make sure the first things you'll
need are the first things you can get to once you arrive. For
instance, your tailgating tent should be as close to the last
thing you put in your truck or car, so it can be the first thing
you take out once you arrive at your event.
- Step 4:
- Once you arrive, try to judge the space you're going to be
directed to by the parking staff. If you're driving a large truck
or SUV, you may not have room for tailgating if they park you
behind or in front of a similar vehicle. If you can, negotiate
with the parking guys; they are generally very helpful and try
to accommodate people. The best thing to do is if you have a
large vehicle is to park in front of or behind a small car. Keep
in mind, most tents used for tailgating are 10' x 10'. You will
- Step 5:
- Once you're in your spot, check the direction of the sun.
Think about how long you're going to be tailgating. If it's an
all day thing, like it is for us, you want your tent facing North
to help shade your space during the hot afternoon sun. If you're
tailgating for just a few hours, you may not need to worry about
- Step 6:
- We HIGHLY recommend taking a tent of some kind. Even if you're
just tailgating for a few hours, you're going to be standing
out in the sun all that time. Even on a cool day, the sun can
be very hot after a few hours. On the other side, there's nothing
worse than going to your event feeling damp and wet because you
got caught out in a short sprinkle or a major downpour.
- The other thing to keep in mind, you will want a way to tie
your tent down. At every NASCAR event we've been to, the parking
lot is just a giant field. Hammering tent stakes into the ground
is easy. But some events, such as a football game might be in
a paved parking lot where this isn't going to be easy to do.
In these cases, consider alternative methods, such as 2 sand
bags for the external legs, and rope for the internal legs that
you can use to tie the internal legs to your vehicle.
- Step 7:
- If you're tailgating in the afternoon sun, make sure you
have some way to shade your space. That's shade in addition to
your tailgating tent. This isn't just to help keep your space
cool. It's also to help keep you and your guests from being blinded
by the light.
- Our tailgating tent came with a screen liner. We fold the
liner in half and put it up just on the side of the tent that
faces the sun. If you look at the picture at the top of this
article, you'll see an example.
- For More Information:
- Make sure you visit the website of the facility you're going
to. Every stadium and race track will have information about
tailgating. The do's and don'ts, and even some helpful hints.
- Additional Tips:
- · Check out our Check List mentioned above.
- · Take
your check list with you to your event. You'll inevitably find
something you forgot and you can add it to your list for next
- · Keep your list in
an electronic form. On your PC, iPaq, iPod or whatever.
- · Set aside extra time
on your way to your event to buy ice. Do it near home. The closer
you get to the event, the more chance you'll find ice dispensers
are sold out.
- · Go to your local home
improvement store and look for a large insect/garden spray bottle
with a pressure pump handle. Set this bottle aside to use ONLY
for your tailgating events. On tailgating day, fill it with water
and use it as a hand washer out in the lot.
- · Make sure you take
games of some kind to keep you entertained. Cards, Golf toss
and Corn Hole toss are the most popular.
- · If you're taking children,
make sure you have toys. Give them something to do while you
party and relax. We also take along the LeapFrog hand held game
pack, Gameboy and books. Our son started going to Nascar events
since he was 5, the older he gets the more he likes taking books
- Be Careful:
- · Pack up most of your
stuff when you go into your event. Generally your tent is safe,
but it's amazing what people will walk by and steal while you're
enjoying your game or race.